Did the Lord Ruler ever have any children?
Yes, he did.
Did the Lord Ruler ever have any children?
Yes, he did.
Where did you come up with the idea for spren?
So, the spren are based a little bit on Platonic philosophy, and a little bit on Shinto philosophy. And it's kind of a melding of those two concepts.
My friend is mad at you about the last of the Librarians series.
Okay, well, it's not the last. Because, tell them to look at the page at the very end end, some people missed, another character-- Alcatraz wrote the last one, another character refused to let be the ending. She is going to write an actual last book. There's a last page hidden in there.
Do you know if anyone is planning on writing any more about Alcatraz's story? Maybe not Alcatraz?
Yes, one person. Bastille has refused to let it end. Alcatraz tried to end it in the most awful way possible, intentionally, so she's not gonna let him get away with that.
With the Kaladin soundtrack, how similar is that going to be to other studios, like Two Steps from Hell, audiomachine?
Hopefully fairly similar. Two Steps from Hell tends to go a little harder than I think most of this album is going to be. I love it, but every one of them is, like, trailer music. That's what Two Steps from Hell is, right? And I think you'll find a few more quieter pieces on the Kaladin album, but that's what we're shooting for, a symphonic album like that.
How long until the next Rithmatist?
Um, that's the slow one. Stormlight 3 taking as long as it has, that's what it has slowed down. I keep saying it's only gonna be a couple years, but-- I don't know, honestly...
My goal is to start closing up some of theses series in the next couple of years, so I'm hoping to finish off the Legion trilogy and Wax & Wayne next year, and just start closing some things off.
Do you already know how The Stormlight Archive is going to end?
Do you have all the details in mind, or do you just kind of have a general idea and you figure it out as you go?
So, I'm a planner. I tend to like having a pretty detailed plan. For something like The Stormlight Archive, that generally kind of boils down to: the next book has a five page plan, the book after that has a three page plan, the book after that a two page plan, one page, one page, and the last book we go back to a five page plan. So there is lots of wiggle room in one of these outlines, but at the same time, I've got touchstones and things I know I'm writing toward.
Do all the other Smedrys get their Talents back?
You're gonna have to see. You've seen the, uh...
Yeah, I did.
Yeah, yeah. One more book coming. It will answer that.
Does Wayne ever get married? Does he ever feel redeemed?
...I'm not gonna answer that one for you. That's a definite RAFO. Boy, it-- You'll have to see. Getting Wayne into a committed relationship with someone else who wants to be in that relationship would be a big first step. And let's just hope he can someday do that.
I want to know if Kelsier and Hoid will ever get along?
They, uh-- that's a RAFO, but I wouldn't hold my breath. There are mashing of egos that just don't mesh well going on there.
How long will Kelsier's story go?
Kelsier's story has some more stages to it. I'm gonna RAFO that... But the stuff that's happening right now is set up for a later story with him.
My son wants to know if Hoid is a dragon.
He is not. But he knows some.
I kinda got the sense, like, spren. Did you base them off of quantum mechanics?
Yeah, there's some quantum mechanics and some Japanese Shinto rammed together in there.
I was just wondering if a Shard's intent can change over time without changing holders?
Without changing holders? The holder can have a slight effect on how the-- a big effect on how the intent is interpreted, but what the intent is stays the same. So it's gonna be filtered. The way it manifests can change, and you'll see that happening, but it is the same intent. When it was broken off, it took a certain thing with it.
Is Scadrial losing mass when people burn metals?
Yes, technically it is, but Investiture is another dimension to matter.
So it doesn't lose mass, it becomes Investiture?
It becomes Investiture... Basically, when you go into the cosmere, we've got matter, we've got energy here. You've got matter, energy, and Investiture there, and you can get things out of Investiture back into matter, and stuff like that. There's always energy, there's entropy, there's always diffusement... it's basically, add to the laws of thermodynamics a third item, and that's how we word it.
The Sleepless. When Syl is talking to Kal, and Kal just crunched up the leaves, and she says, "Is it the heart of a beetle that you have hidden in your hand?" Is that what she's talking about?
...Oh, the Sleepless? No, that is coincidence. Good question. Not a Sleepless question.
After Kaladin challenges Amaram, and he gets thrown into prison, are those incarcerationspren that he gets stuck with?
Yes. I'm being recorded, so I have to know if I want to canonize this. Yes. There's nothing more to it than that, I'm just not sure if I've been asked that question straight-up before. I just want to make sure that I've got the name right.
Are Shin who are not Truthless allowed to use the Honorblades?
Are all Truthless given Honorblades when they're cast out, or is Szeth a special case?
Szeth is a special case.
You know how Wax has control of his Steelpushes? Well, if someone has an Ironpull ability, can get practiced enough to, in the Wax & Wayne era, swing through downtown Elendel Spiderman-like with controlled Ironpulls?
I've actually thought about that, and I went away from it, just because of Spiderman. I have to be really careful that I just don't go Spiderman-y. But I would say it's an in-world possibility that someone could do that, and it wouldn't be that hard if you've got the buildings. The trick is, most downtowns are not tall enough, and I would say in Elendel even now, there aren't enough skyscrapers that you could really go full-on Spiderman. But if you could, if you were, like, downtown Manhattan, you could do it.
Are the Heralds from Roshar originally?
"Most important words" that Dalinar had to say, were they the Words of Radiance?
You're gonna have to Read And Find Out. That one's not answered yet.
Have the Parshendi been to Scadrial during the Wax & Wayne books?
So, the Parshendi as a group have not. I will not confirm or deny if individuals have been. Wax & Wayne books take place after Stormlight Archive books 1 through 5.
Speaking of Way of Kings, when Shallan gets to Kharbranth, she sees two people in trenchcoats. Is that anyone spectacular or important or anyone like that?
That's what I figured. I was hoping.
There might be things in that scene. I won't confirm or deny any specific instances of them.
When I write a fourth [Reckoners] book, it'll be a Mizzy book.
Is Marsh happy?
Marsh is Marsh's version of happy.
I'm just worried about him.
...He has never been a happy person. But he's in a better place now than he's been in other times of his life.
There's a part of Marsh that really likes skulking around and being an incarnation of Death in peoples' minds. He's not really one, but you know what I mean? There's a part of him, the part that's related to his brother, that really digs that, even if he would never admit it.
How do they handle, like, trash and bathrooms in the Purelake? How does that work?
Fortunately, you have a couple of things going on here. You fortunately have low population. You have highstorms and driving and-- so, the waste is broken down really easily. The trash is a problem. But it's a pre-industrial society, so the trash is not stuff that doesn't ever biodegrade, and things like this, and you do have traders going through, and things like this. So, it all kind of works out. It's the low population that's really helping with a lot of this. It's not as bad, a big a deal as you would think it is...
All of Roshar has a slight issue in that you just can't bury things, but you do have the crem that comes down and hardens around things and creates a layer of stone, and things like this. In my opinion, the way I've worked it out, it all just kind of works out just fine...
It's no bigger a deal in the Purelake, in other words, than these other places. In fact it's kind of a smaller deal. Like, you might ask, like, traveling out on the greatshells in the Reshi Sea, they would have a harder problem in some ways, 'cause they have a tight population density on top of something that they also can't bury anything, and stuff like that. I just had to work out the ecology of the system to work.
How accurate is the Vorin version of the afterlife?
How accurate is it? Well, the thing I'm not doing is confirming or denying, right? Like, afterlife in the cosmere, you have seen that-- As a person there, I would believe that there is an afterlife, and things like this. I would say the Vorin one is contradicted by many people all around.
So, are Shauka-daughter-Hasweth and Ali-daughter-Hasweth two different people? Are they the same person?
They are different people. Good question. They do have very similar names. That happens a lot among the Shin, and I'm trying to make it not confusing, but I can't promise it won't be. There are a lot of similar names, and a lot of people are named similar ways, and things like that.
So, it's not a "why." But how in the world did Vasher get to Roshar. Because I know about Kelsier not being able to really travel too easily outside of his realm, so how did this happen?
Oh, yeah, you're asking, because he's heavily Invested, with Investiture from uh-- yeah. So that's actually a RAFO. I thought you were going to ask a much easier question, this is a much harder question. It's a RAFO that I promise to answer. The books will dig into it, okay?
So, Hoid was there during the Shattering of Adonalsium. Odium is going around, like, destroying other Shards. We know that Hoid is collecting and has pieces of some of the other Shards.
Since Hoid was there at the original Shattering of Adonalsium. Is there an echo image of the original Adonalsium in Hoid?
Uh, that's a RAFO. Here's your card. But it is a valid theory.
I have a two-parter on that.
You can ask me the next part, but it is a RAFO.
Is his end goal trying to join as many pieces of Adonalsium together to *inaudible*
Um, that, I will give a "that's a very good guess." And that is what the books seem to indicate is happening.
What was your hardest character to kill?
Oh. That's spoileriffic. I would say it's a character who dies at the end of The Wheel of Time, which is a series that I finished for another author. Because it was someone someone else created. And then, having to write some of those scenes.
That would be really hard, because you're killing somebody else's character.
Right? And somebody I grew up with, right? So, I would say those are the hardest guys.
Do we get to see more Vasher in Stormlight.
Um, yes. So, you're gonna see a little bit in the next book. There will be a point where you'll see some more, but it's a ways off.
So, if Nightblood, unsheathed, killed someone, would their soul still go to the Beyond?
So, that's gonna be a matter of-- There's gonna be disagreement in the cosmere about that. Nobody has been able to actively test it, because there are certain things you can see, but there are people who are actively discussing this concept.
So, no one knows for sure?
Nobody knows for sure. And I'll just leave it at that. It's an astute question that even Vasher has-- Vasher has his thoughts, but he does not have a definitive answer, and others disagree with him.
How many Shards have been Splintered, besides the four we know?
You're gonna make me canonize this? I can't canonize this. There's a couple that I'm just kind of...
Odium, Endowment, Devotion...
Okay, Odium has not been Splintered. Endowment and Devotion have been Splintered... Endowment hasn't been Splintered, sorry. Dominion and Devotion have been Splintered. I've confirmed that one other has been Splintered. And then Honor has been Splintered. Those are your four that I've canonized. The other one is, I don't know if I've mentioned who exactly it is, but it's not one that you've seen on one of the planets...
Yeah, I'm not gonna canonize it, exactly how many there are. Because there are things going on in the cosmere that I wanna settle down and decide on once I get to it, exactly what. And Splintering can be a vague term sometimes, too... So that's a RAFO.
Is Calamity the last book in the series?
I have a plan to do a book about Mizzy. But before I do that, I am writing a book called The Apocalypse Guard, which takes place in the alternate dimension that Megan sees into in these books. So, you should enjoy those. They'll be kinda the same style, but different characters from the alternate dimension. They're a blast, I just finished the first book.
What would a Cognitive Shadow see if they saw Szeth?
If they saw Szeth? They're going to see his soul kinda trailing along behind him. It's gonna be really freaky to them.
When are we gonna get more books in Wax & Wayne?
There will be one more, and it will be my next book I'm writing next year. Once I finish Apocalypse Guard, I'll write it next year. So just watch a percentage bar on my website, it will tell you when it's gonna come out.
While I am glad to hear the book is going along well, I will not hide the fact I am severely disappointed by Adolin's lack of page time. I cannot believe we won't get to read his thoughts following the events of WoR. If there was one POV I wanted to read, it was his, but according to the planning, we won't, not until the very end of the book.
I truly appreciate the efforts done to keep the fans informed, but I cannot hide my disappointment. I guess it is better knowing now than finding it out about it after having waited for the book for another year.
I don't know if you're the same person who wrote to me in private, as I closed that window--so forgive me if I'm repeating myself somewhat.
I am well aware that many people are very interested in what is happening to Adolin, and I consider him one of the more interesting and unexpected developments of the series, in deviation from the original outline. I intend to dig into things with him in the book.
He's done a lot with very few viewpoints in the books so far. Why not read and see where he goes in this one?
Thank you for your response. I have pondered on it all day yesterday.
Unfortunately, knowing Adolin doesn't have viewpoints until the last 100K words of the book basically is a show stopper for me. While I knew his story arc would never be as large as other characters, much to my sadness, I had hope he would, at the very least, remain a steady viewpoint character. My expectations for this book were to read more of him, especially considering how his story arc ended in WoR, not less.
Those very few words might be amazing, but it sounds too little and too late: especially knowing they are cramped into one of the smallest part of the book and shared with 5 other viewpoint characters including the three major ones.
My expectations sincerely were very different. It might my own fault for not having understood before how small Adolin's role was bond to be, but I cannot help being disappointed by it. If I knew Adolin had a bigger role waiting for him in later books, I would bear my time and think I only need to be more patient, but I know it will not happen.
So all in all, as much as I have loved the first two books, knowing Adolin's overall arc in so small in the upcoming book is a show stopper for me as a reader.
I truly appreciate your work as an author, but I had considered Adolin to be one of the major payers, despite the lack of flashbacks. I had expected him to be present within the story and not just through third person's perspective. Knowing it won't happen basically breaks the magic for me.
So sorry again.
I still think you're over reacting, and prematurely at that. Jasnah was a major force in the first book, and became many people's favorite, despite having no viewpoints. Sometimes, keeping someone from having viewpoints actually enhances their story.
Regardless, there is a bigger issue: the story cannot be everything to every reader. It must be the story I shape it to be; to try anything else is madness. You have the option, when reading, to edit the story in your experience of it, if you wish, to better match your desires. I have to tell the story the way my writing instincts say is the strongest, and this is the viewpoint breakdown that is best.
With Cosmere movies looking more and more like a reality, are there any other types of media you would like to see your works in? Personally I feel Mistborn would translate very well into an anime.
I'd investigate that if it were an actual possibility, but the chances of it happening are basically zero. Anime companies are not regularly buying western books for adaptation--aside from the few by Miazaki's company (which I'm not going to try to spell because I can never remember how the vowels go.) I would of course say yes to them, were the chance to arise. But an anime based on my books is not something I've ever seen the faintest, tiniest nibble on from any Japanese company.
(Generally, western fantasy novels do not sell well in Japan; they seem to prefer science fiction in prose form, at least from America.)
How about western animation? For example, Avatar: The Last Airbender or Legend Of Korra? I feel Stormlight would do very well animated, since all the visual problems go away. And Legend Of Korra feels very much like Second Era Mistborn.
The problem is that these, though great, are still pitched as children's programming. I know there are all kinds of arguments with that, but the reality is that the marketing people control things like this, and the chances are really, really slim.
Brotherhood (or siblinghood) seems to be an important relationship theme in Stormlight (Kaladin and Tien, Dalinar and Gavilar, Adolin and Renarin, Shallan and her many brothers, Jasnah and Elhokar - although we haven't seen much of these two together) and perhaps in other Cosmere books too (Vin and Reen, Marsh and Kelsier, Eventeo and Kiin). I was wondering where this theme came from - do you have siblings yourself? Are there other relationships in your life you've used to inspire relationships in your books?
I have three siblings, and my relationship with them is important to me. I also think that books sometimes ignore family, in the name of making a character feel more isolated. While I have used that on occasion, I don't want it to be the norm. I find family too interesting, and important to most real people, to do otherwise.
How do you decide on how much time passes between your world's big "magical moment" and present tense? For example, in Stormlight thousands of years pass between the Recreance and Shallan and Kaladin kicking it in a chasm. How do you know if 1,000 years or 100 years is appropriate?
There's no set rule for this, I'm afraid. I just run on instinct on this one, though I'm helped by having a larger continuity and timeline between books, so I have an idea of how things have played out cosmere-wide.
I've heard that you're a fan of Magic: The Gathering and I recently heard about the collaboration you did with Steve Argyle a while back and that got me wondering; in your opinion, what color of magic would the powers of Allomancy fit under?
When I built my custom magic set, I made it primarily red, blue, and black. But you could make arguments for a lot of things.
Still don't see why The Reckoners can't be a part of the Cosmere. Especially with all that why down in the last book. Sooooooo shard like
I'll dig into it eventually, but there are good reasons why the powers don't fit the magic of the cosmere.
It's important to me that I don't go stuffing things into the cosmere willy-nilly. The stories that fit should go there, and contribute to the lore of the cosmere. The ones that don't should be able to have their own lore and mechanics.
When a person dies who is then Returned, do they come back essentially immediately? According to Llarimar it sounds like a quick process...
"When we found you dead, I lost hope. I was going to resign my position. I knelt above your body, weeping. And then, the Colors started to glow. You lifted your head, body changing, getting larger, muscles growing stronger."
When they do come back, are they unconscious? I only ask because as Llarimar was holding him when he changed, if he came back right then, Lightsong's first memory would be of this man who was to be his priest holding him. I assume this would be something Lightsong would have asked about numerous times, why he was with Llarimar when he died, so it seems to me a Returned must be unconscious for a while in order to give them a chance to be brought to the Court of the Gods without being exposed to their family, whom they were probably around when they died.
It's usually a quick process, but not standardized. It could take hours, or longer, but generally does not.
It's something between what you're saying, and instantaneous waking up. More like they start to glow, and the transformation begins, then they wake up and stand. But they're confused and disoriented, and Lightsong was told his priests were gathered as soon as he started glowing, so that they could greet him as he came to himself. He never had reason to question, and that moment is fuzzy anyway. (As evidenced by him not remembering the event, and needing to be told about it.)
At least, that's my rationale as I remember it. It's been ten years at this point, so I could be fuzzy on the details. :)
Do you have a rough idea of when we will be hearing more about "Dark One"?
Well, I decided to do Apocalypse Guard as my next YA project, so we won't see Dark One AT LEAST until that trilogy is done, Alcatraz 6 is done, and Rithmatist has another book in it. (Sorry.)
Had a hemalurgic spike been encased in aluminium, would it still decay?
Nobody has tried that! (It might work.)
Part Two Wrap-up
And that, Elend getting deposed, leads us into the next section of the book. The first section was intended to re-establish the setting and character, part two introduced us to the plot. Now we'll get into the thick of things, with the three different rulers vying for control of Luthadel—and, they hope, the hidden atium supply it represents.
I like that this book is, again, about the atium. I hope that people don't get tired of hearing about it. This is a theme for the entire series. At the core, both the first two books are started by the conflict over the atium. In book one, the atium is what Kelsier intends to steel. In book two, the atium the reason the warlords come to conquer the city. It's fun that something that has yet to make an appearance—if, indeed, it's even real—has sparked the conflicts of two separate novels.
Of course, in both books, the atium quickly becomes overshadowed by other things. Kelsier was going to steal the atium, but he really wanted to overthrow—and get revenge upon—the Lord Ruler. As Straff points out in the last chapter, he may have come for the atium—but the real reason he wants Luthadel has to do with more personal reasons.
Regardless, the throne of Luthadel is now up for grabs, and that will demand our attention for Part Three of the book.
Elend Returns and Gets the Letter Deposing Him
And, finally Elend gets deposed. I worry about this plot twist coming out of nowhere, though it is quite well foreshadowed. Elend mentions at one point that the Assembly can choose new kings. He's missed several of their meetings, and–because of his earlier proposition–they can't do anything about the armies until he decides to let them.
That put a lot of pressure on the Assembly, and they were made to feel irrelevant. There are, of course, other forces pushing and pulling at the Assembly–and you'll find out about those later.
Elend made a big mistake here. He was so busy being king that he forgot he himself had set up a constitutional monarchy. His enemies DIDN'T forget about this fact. In Elend's defense, both Straff and Cett have a lot more experience with leadership than he does.
Back Into the Tent With Elend and Straff
The reason that Straff acts so oddly through these two chapters should make more sense once you remember that Zane's spy is still feeding them information. Straff was warned, vaguely, what Elend would try to do.
Vin and Zane Watch Outside the Tent
Zane's cutting has an interesting evolution in the story. At first, I added him cutting himself simply because–well–it made a cool scene. Zane, cutting his own arm in front of his father, primarily to make the other man uncomfortable.
However, there's more behind this, and the cutting worked very well into the interaction of the different magic systems in the book. Particularly Hemalurgy. The pain makes the voice in Zane's head weaker. There will be more on this later.
I'll admit that I didn't originally intend to make the Zane-Kelsier connection with those scars on his arms. However, when writing this scene, I couldn't believe I'd missed seeing what a great opportunity I had. Vin already associates Zane with the Survivor; letting her see the scars on his arms gives her another powerful connection, particularly since she misinterprets where they came from.